Hummingbird at the feeder – ISO 800; f 5.6; 1/320
Many of my friends have had hummingbird feeders at different points in their lives They would put a feeder out and be over joyed when a hummingbird would visit regularly. I would nod my head and agree that hummingbirds were amazing – but not being a bird person, in many ways I did not see the point.
This summer, in New Brunswick, I had the opportunity to watch families of hummingbirds over a period of time. I found them fascinating. There were 15 or 16 hummingbirds that were living in two trees and feeding from two hummingbird feeders. They visited the feeders most frequently in the early morning and evening. Often, all of the feeding stations would be busy, and other hummingbirds hovered about the feeder waiting their turn.
The feeder had to be replenished often with that many birds feeding from it. Sometimes one of the hummingbirds would hover looking through the kitchen window – as if he was saying “what is taking so long”, when they were waiting for a refill.
It was fascinating to read about them on-line. One of the best sites that I found was World of Hummingbirds I learned that when hummingbirds migrate for the winter the males leave first and then are followed a few weeks later by the females. That is exactly what happened. There was a greater drain than usual on the feeder in the first part of august and then suddenly the males were gone. A few weeks later the females left too. I read on-line that you should leave the feeder out for a few weeks – even when you think that all the hummingbirds have left as sometimes there are stragglers going through. They could be hummingbirds that got a late start or a bird that was born late in the season and is only just ready to start the long journey south. Today I was amazed to see two hummingbirds at the feeder when there had been none all week. I was glad that we could help them along the way. I look forward to their return in the spring.
Taking pictures of hummingbirds was a photography challenge for me. They are so small and fast and flit from one spot to another. I was lucky that there were so many hummingbirds that were gathered in the one area. I used a tripod with a ball head This provided stability for my camera and yet let me move the camera to follow the action. I also used a fast shutter speed and a higher ISO setting. I like the feeling of motion when I capture the blur of the wing as in the picture above .
Canada Geese swimming in the rushes
It was evening and we were enjoying the peace and tranquility of canoeing on one of one of the many lakes in south western New Brunswick. We spotted a dozen geese. They were swimming in the rushes near the side of the lake.
Gander keeping a watchful eye
A gander was keeping a watchful eye out for any danger and the goslings were herded into the thicker rushes by the adults that swam around the edges. We stayed and watched them for about half an hour. Then, as the light was fading we reluctantly headed for home.
Adult geese swimming near the edges of the rushes
One of the challenges in this situation was getting close enough to take a photo. We allowed the canoe to float closer and closer to the geese. We only used the paddles to guide the canoe and were very careful not to splash. I was using my Canon SX50HS – the 50 times optical zoom (24-1200mm) was just what was needed in this situation. The other challenge was the geese were constantly moving. I used a fast shutter speed 1/1250 and the High Speed Burst which maximizes the chances of getting a good shot. After you have done all that – a lot of times it is a matter of patience and more than a little luck.
Mactaquac Dam is located approximately 15 kilometres outside of Fredericton New Brunswick on the Saint John River. It is an embankment dam operated by NB Power It has the capacity to generate approximately 653 megawatts of electricity.
There is an Atlantic Salmon Fish Hatchry located in Kingsclear downstream of the dam. The dam has a fish way to help the fish go up stream.
There is a gravel parking lot just off Mactaquac Road with a bird’s eye view of the dam. This photo was taken from that vantage point.
The gravel parking lot is large with easy access to a good view of the dam.
You need a good telephoto lens or a camera with a long zoom to take pictures of this dam. This photo was taken with a Canon 70-300 mm lens. I can imagine that sunset might be a spectacular time to take pictures of the dam. I will make a return trip some day.
A s I drove down the trans canada highway, taking exit 258 towards McAdam – I found my self wondering what the McAdam Train Station would be like. I heard that the community was in the process of restoring it and it had been declared a National Historic Site by Parks Canada. I was not prepared for the magnificent restored railway station that greeted me after I entered McAdam. The outside of the station is granite and it looks every inch the important stop on the railway line that it was many years ago.
While taking photos of the exterior a woman who was working on the inside offered to show me around. The railway station is not totally finished but the restored areas that I walked through were magnificent and well worth the trip.
The dining room was outstanding. Each of the straight back chairs has a red leather back and seat. The dining room is often rented out for private functions such as meetings or wedding receptions.
The general eating area has a long winding counter with stools and a juke box The jukebox plays rock and roll.
On a Sunday afternoon in July, August and September “railroad pie” is served starting at 1:00 pm For a small cost you can get your picture taken in the telegraph office and enjoy a piece of the famous railroad pie and coffee or tea I know that I will be making a return trip this summer to further explore the station and enjoy a piece of railroad pie!
The railroad station is on one level. There are raised door sills all through the railway station as was the structure of the times.
Even though there are very large windows that let in a lot of light it is still quite dark in sections of the train station. You will need a flash and a tripod would be very useful. The photos were taken with a Canon 7D and wide angle lens. The darkness of the inside and the light streaming through the large windows can cause challenges when taking photos. Try to angle your camera for the best shot without taking the photo right into the light of the window.
Mactaquac Provincial Park is located approx 15 kilometres west of Fredericton New Brunswick along the Saint John River. I was driving on highway 105 along the edge of the park around 9 in the morning and spotted a deer standing by the side of the road. I quickly pulled over and grabbed my camera off the back seat of the car. I walked slowly towards the deer taking photos as I crept forward. She was very interested in what I was doing and stood still for at least two or three minutes. Then a noisy truck and trailer was coming down the road in the opposite direction. She hesitated a moment and then took off into the bush. She made my day!
These photos were taken with a Canon 70-300 mm lens. As discussed in other posts – when I pulled over to the side of the road I made sure to turn off the car and remove the keys from the ignition, so there would be no warning sounds of leaving the key in the ignition when I opened the door. One of the most important things is not scaring the wildlife before you even get your camera out!
I love going to the Magnetic Hill Zoo in Moncton. It is located on approximately 40 acres just north of the Trans Canada Highway at exit 450. It is a charming small zoo and the area is fairly wooded so even on a hot summer day it is very pleasant. One of the best times to go to the zoo is in the morning or at feeding time. The animals are more active and you will get better pictures.
Zoo hours and rates can be found by following the link below. Magnetic Hill Zoo Hours and Rates
The photos here are some of my favorite friends at the zoo. The lions Amara and Azizi, the Arctic wolves and of course what visit would be complete without a visit to the Llamas. I will be visiting the zoo a number of times over the next few months and writing about my adventures there.
The zoo grounds are accessible to all. There is a large parking lot and most of the walking paths are paved. There are a few gravel paths and those on a hill can be hard slogging in a wheel chair or pushing a stroller.
The photos were taken with a Canon Rebel xti and a Canon 70-300 lens. Many of my best pictures at the zoo have been taken through chain link fence. It works best when you get up fairly close to the fence and are taking the photo straight on. Use the long end of your zoom and focus on a single animal or group of animals. You will quickly see what works and what doesn’t. Enjoy!